How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Pawcatuck Connecticut
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Pawcatuck CT is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Pawcatuck CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Pawcatuck CT dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Pawcatuck CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Pawcatuck CT, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Pawcatuck CT employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Pawcatuck CT dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Pawcatuck CT dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Pawcatuck CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Pawcatuck CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Pawcatuck CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Pawcatuck CT?
Pawcatuck is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Stonington which is located in New London County, Connecticut. The population was 5,624 at the 2010 census. It is located across the Pawcatuck River from Downtown Westerly, Rhode Island. The Mechanic Street Historic District of Pawcatuck is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes sites of shipbuilding, mills, and worker housing in a 147-acre (0.59 km2) area.
The village of Pawcatuck has a total area of 3.42 square miles (8.87 km2) bordered to the east by the Pawcatuck River. As of the census of 2000, there were 5,474 people, 2,427 households, and 1,439 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,479.9 people per square mile (571.2/km2). There were 2,598 housing units at an average density of 702.4 per square mile (271.1/km2). The racial makeup was 93.53% White, 0.75% African American, 0.69% Native American, 2.12% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population. The median income for a household in Pawcatuck was $39,799, and the median income for a family was $53,087, and 9.3% of the population was below the poverty line.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Pawcatuck CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Pawcatuck CT.
More Great Cities in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 24